The top of the ninth inning Sunday was an inopportune time for Cal State Bakersfield's only error of the weekend.
A wild pickoff throw by pitcher Sergio Luna with the bases loaded, two outs and two strikes on the batter allowed Towson (Md.) to score the go-ahead run and lift the Tigers to a 3-2 win.
Towson (4-2) salvaged the final game of the three-game series. CSUB is 5-3.
"I don't know what they were thinking," CSUB coach Bill Kernen said. "That's not something in our playbook.
"You've got two outs and the bases loaded with two strikes on the hitter."
Two singles and a two-out hit batter loaded the bases in the ninth.
Brandon Gonnella, the Tigers' No. 3 hitter, was the batter. He grounded out after the errant pickoff.
CSUB allowed another unearned run during a two-run fifth inning. A walk, single and sacrifice advanced the runners to second and third. Gonnella's RBI groundball scored the first run and a passed ball against CSUB catcher Ross Hough allowed the second run to score.
That tied the game 2-2. CSUB had scored in the first when Oscar Sanay drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on Chance Gusbeth's RBI-single to center.
Bakersfield added an unearned run in the second. Garrett Pierce was safe on an error and Andrew Lojewski hit into a forceout.
David Metzgar singled Lojewski to third and Nick Rogowski's safety squeeze bunt scored Lojewski.
The Roadrunners had a golden opportunity in the seventh when Sanay singled, Mylz Jones walked and Gusbeth had an infield single to load the bases with one out.
But Gonnella, who started in center field and pitched the final 3-2/3 innings, struck out cleanup batter Soloman Williams and No. 5 batter Garrett Pierce to work out of the jam.
"We're just not hitting," Kernen said. "Our top-end guys, Oscar, Gusbeth and Williams are not hitting now. We know Oscar will hit."
Sophomore left-hander Austin Davis started for CSUB. He allowed four hits, two runs (one earned) and four walks with two strikeouts. About 10 scouts were in the stands watching him.
"I wanted to go deeper into the game today," said Davis, who worked six innings a week earlier vs. Milwaukee. "They had trouble with the inside fastball so I tried to keep it there. They hit a lot of balls on the ground."
Towson was the Colonial Athletic Association's representative last season in the NCAA Tournament and came into Bakersfield 3-0 after winning all of its games at the Wake Forest tournament over the Presidents' holiday weekend.